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CATA News

  • Friday, April 15, 2022 3:57 PM | Anonymous
     

    This week’s vandalism at three dealerships in Schaumburg is a good reminder for dealers to share the details of the crimes they are experiencing so the CATA can keep other dealers informed about the latest tactics from thieves and other criminals.  "Obviously, we shouldn’t the first call when you are dealing with this type of crime, but please let us know within the first 24 hours and we’ll share details with other dealers so they can be prepared," says CATA President, Dave Sloan.

    Karianne Thomas, Director of Security at Ziegler Automotive says such communication is key to bringing this this crime wave to an end.  "The more resistance we are able to mount, the sooner the bad guys will stop targeting dealerships," she said.  Thomas spent 30 years in law enforcement before she was hired by Ziegler last year.

    Dealers who are crime victims should report details to the CATA by email or phone as soon as possible.  Email Dave Sloan at dsloan@Drivechicago.com or call (430) 495-2282.

     


  • Friday, April 15, 2022 3:56 PM | Anonymous
     

    The Federal Trade Commission's updated Safeguards Rule took effect last month. Dealerships and other financial institutions will need to comply with its major provisions by Dec. 9. The new rule addresses topics similar to the old version, but it removes some of the ambiguity of the original.

    Under the amended Safeguards Rule, which is mandated by Congress under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, dealerships will be expected to:

    • Appoint a "qualified individual" to oversee, implement and enforce the information security program and submit an annual written report to the board of directors or governing body.
    • Prepare a written risk assessment that can be used to evaluate and identify security risks periodically.
    • Encrypt all customer information, both at rest and in transit over external networks.*
    • Require multifactor authentication "whenever any individual — employee, customer or otherwise — accesses an information system."*
    • Implement policies and procedures for monitoring and logging the activity of authorized users and detecting unauthorized access to, use of or tampering with customer data by those users.
    • Perform annual penetration tests and biannual vulnerability assessments.
    • Ensure personnel are able to enact the information security program by providing security awareness training and other training programs that are updated as necessary.
    • Oversee and monitor service providers, and assess those providers after onboarding.
    • Adopt a written incident response plan.

    For more information visit this article on Automotive News: https://www.autonews.com/finance-insurance/dealerships-other-financial-institutions-must-reach-full-compliance-ftc.

     


  • Friday, April 15, 2022 3:56 PM | Anonymous
     

    The Cook County Sheriff's office has developed a consent form for dealers and vehicle buyers that will allow law enforcement to access data location information for the described vehicle from the relevant car company if the car has been unlawfully taken and such information is available. Swift access to such information can help law enforcement recover the vehicle.

    The consent form and safety tips are available on the Sheriff’s Office website. Click here for the form: https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/departments/c-c-s-p-d/carjacking/.
     


  • Friday, April 15, 2022 3:56 PM | Anonymous
     

    Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced legislation requiring auto manufacturers to create a 24/7 recovery hotline to help law enforcement quickly track stolen vehicles. The inability for law enforcement to access tracking information in real time after a carjacking makes it difficult to catch offenders and prevent the vehicle from being used in additional crimes. Currently, each auto manufacturer has their own process for obtaining such existing information, often causing unnecessary delays. Under the legislation, law enforcement can obtain this information, if the owner consents, when a vehicle has been carjacked or is being used in the commission of other violent crimes.

    For more information, please visit https://suburbanchicagoland.com/2022/04/06/sheriff-dart-announces-anti-carjacking-legislation/.

     

    The consent form and safety tips are available on the Sheriff’s Office website. Click here for the form: https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/departments/c-c-s-p-d/carjacking/.

     


  • Thursday, April 14, 2022 3:57 PM | Anonymous
     

    The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) has selected Vitu as its endorsed Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) partner for the association’s more than 400 franchised, new-car dealer members in the Chicagoland area. Vitu’s innovative ERT platform provides a best-in-class in-state and out-of-state titling and registration solution combined with its award-winning customer service.

    "We took great care in selecting Vitu as CATA’s preferred ERT solution partner. Following an evaluation of all providers in the market, it became clear why an increasing number of our dealers are choosing Vitu’s innovative technology and comprehensive dealer support system," said Kevin Keefe, CATA chairman. "Vitu's commitment to serving dealers' interests will take this partnership to a new level as we work together to continuously improve the Vitu platform and ancillary services and also introduce new title and registration training opportunities for our dealers."

    Vitu pioneered an advanced vehicle registration solution, focused on streamlining operations between the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS), Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and dealerships. Accomplishing this kind of industry-wide change required an in-depth understanding of the needs of each stakeholder, as well as a thorough knowledge of tax, titling and registration regulations. Recent rapid gains in market share prove that Vitu’s inclusive approach is right on target.

    "One of Vitu's core beliefs is that a deep partnership with every stakeholder – from the dealers to our association partners to the SOS/IDOR – is crucial to the overall success of the program. We are grateful to enter into a partnership with an organization that carries the same values. Vitu and CATA both believe in excellence in every part of the ecosystem," said Joe Nemelka, chief operations officer/EVP at Vitu. "In partnering with CATA, we look forward to leveraging our combined skills to strengthen the public/private partnership model and support Chicagoland dealers with innovations that create efficiencies throughout the dealership."

    For more information about the partnership with ViTu contact Dave Sloan at (630) 424-6055 or dsloan@drivechicago.com.

    To arrange for a sale presentation contact Randy Skolnick, Senior Sales Representative VITU-Illinois, at (818) 299-3269
    or rskolnick@vitu.com.

     


  • Thursday, March 31, 2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, March 29, the CATA hosted a seminar focusing on recent vehicle thefts at new-car dealerships. Presenting were Karianne Thomas, Director of Security for the Zeigler Auto Group; Joshua Mailey, President and Security Consultant for Signal 88 Security; Adam Broshous, Lieutenant Illinois Secretary of State Police and Deputy Director Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force; and Roe Conn, Senior Project Manager for the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

    The panel discussed the recent spike in vehicle thefts from new-car dealerships, efforts that can be made to reduce thefts and what to do if a theft happens at your dealership. The CATA recorded the seminar, but because of the sensitive topics discussed, it will only be available to members upon request. Requests for the video and presentations can be made to Mark Bilek, Senior Director of Communications & Technology at the CATA.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    • How to best protect your vehicles at your dealership and reduce the risk of theft
    • How to properly respond to theft attempts
    • What to do in the event of a vehicle theft
    • Additional government resources beyond your local police department

    YOU GET HIT: NOW WHAT?

    • As soon as cars are stolen, dealers need to notify local municipality and then second call is to ISATT (708-740-0425). Ensure law enforcement clears the scene.
    • Report dealer plate number AND the letter associated with that plate.
    • Dealers need to keep record and track what plate is on what vehicle.
    • Report it stolen and get correct VIN # into the system. Then as soon as VIN # hits the system, the ISATT is notified.
    • Are keys with or without the vehicle – important to know this.
    • For test drives, get a clear colored copy of Government Issued ID because enforcers can use this to identify the thieves. Secondary ID is also crucial.
    • Dealerships to get cameras like Flock, Genetec or Vigilant systems – as they integrate with local law enforcements.
    • Ensure dealers don’t make contact with the thieves or try to scare them off.
    • Lock down the lot.
    • Help track if factory or aftermarket is available on any or all missing vehicles.
    • Don’t assume the thieves won’t come back: When an attack happens, the next attack could come within hours. Attacks that come overnight, could now come in the day. Making sure to identify people who come in for test drives, make that info available to law enforcement.

    KEY CONTACTS

    • Joshua Mailey, Signal 88 security, 847-456-0689 or jmailey@signal88.com
    • ISATT (Illinois Secretary of State Police), 708-740-0425

     


  • Thursday, March 31, 2022 4:04 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, March 29, the CATA hosted a seminar focusing on recent vehicle thefts at new-car dealerships. Presenting were Karianne Thomas, Director of Security for the Zeigler Auto Group; Joshua Mailey, President and Security Consultant for Signal 88 Security; Adam Broshous, Lieutenant Illinois Secretary of State Police and Deputy Director Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force; and Roe Conn, Senior Project Manager for the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

    The panel discussed the recent spike in vehicle thefts from new-car dealerships, efforts that can be made to reduce thefts and what to do if a theft happens at your dealership. The CATA recorded the seminar, but because of the sensitive topics discussed, it will only be available to members upon request. Requests for the video and presentations can be made to Mark Bilek, Senior Director of Communications & Technology at the CATA.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    • How to best protect your vehicles at your dealership and reduce the risk of theft
    • How to properly respond to theft attempts
    • What to do in the event of a vehicle theft
    • Additional government resources beyond your local police department

    YOU GET HIT: NOW WHAT?

    • As soon as cars are stolen, dealers need to notify local municipality and then second call is to ISATT (708-740-0425). Ensure law enforcement clears the scene.
    • Report dealer plate number AND the letter associated with that plate.
    • Dealers need to keep record and track what plate is on what vehicle.
    • Report it stolen and get correct VIN # into the system. Then as soon as VIN # hits the system, the ISATT is notified.
    • Are keys with or without the vehicle – important to know this.
    • For test drives, get a clear colored copy of Government Issued ID because enforcers can use this to identify the thieves. Secondary ID is also crucial.
    • Dealerships to get cameras like Flock, Genetec or Vigilant systems – as they integrate with local law enforcements.
    • Ensure dealers don’t make contact with the thieves or try to scare them off.
    • Lock down the lot.
    • Help track if factory or aftermarket is available on any or all missing vehicles.
    • Don’t assume the thieves won’t come back: When an attack happens, the next attack could come within hours. Attacks that come overnight, could now come in the day. Making sure to identify people who come in for test drives, make that info available to law enforcement.

    KEY CONTACTS

    • Joshua Mailey, Signal 88 security, 847-456-0689 or jmailey@signal88.com
    • ISATT (Illinois Secretary of State Police), 708-740-0425

     


  • Saturday, March 19, 2022 4:08 PM | Anonymous
    Joseph McKeever, who operated a namesake Volkswagen dealership in Palos Heights and who served on the CATA Board of Directors from 1985 to 1991, died March 7. He was 81.
    He is survived by a daughter, Michelle; a brother, Jack; and many nieces and nephews.


  • Saturday, March 19, 2022 4:08 PM | Anonymous
    Edward M. ("Eddie") Mize, who operated three Des Plaines dealerships and was the 1991-92 president of the CATA, died March 5, weeks from his centennial birthday. 
    He was born Edmund Marion Misiewicz on April 23, 1922, and served as a radar technician for the U.S. Navy in World War II. He later graduated from DePaul University and worked as an accountant at Chicago Avenue Motors Sales in the 1950s before acquiring Ridge Motors, a Pontiac dealership. Mr. Mize later opened O’Hare Honda and O’Hare Hyundai.
    Mr. Mize was an enthusiastic fan of the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks. He also was an avid golfer and connoisseur of fine wines. Meeting jazz musician Dave Brubeck was a fond memory.
     
    He was preceded in death by his wife, Maryann, and a son, John. Survivors include sons Gregory and Kevin; a daughter, Michele; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
     
     


  • Saturday, March 19, 2022 4:08 PM | Anonymous
    U.S. auto dealers flush with cash are buying each other at a record pace, but they are not closing stores in the process.
    Defying predictions that the internet and Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales strategy would kill traditional auto dealerships, acquisitions in the sector hit a record $8 billion in value in 2021, according to data from Kerrigan Advisors, a company that tracks transactions among largely private auto dealer groups. That is more than triple the $2.5 billion for 2020.
    Most of the buyers were large public or private auto retail chains such as Asbury Automotive Group and Lithia Motors. Many of the sellers were smaller, family-controlled operations, said Erin Kerrigan, founder of Kerrigan Advisors.
    "We had 338 unique transactions in the industry," Kerrigan said. "The prior peak was 288 in 2020." Publicly traded dealer groups bought over 250 dealerships last year, she said.
     
    Despite the deal activity, the number of stores that car buyers could visit has remained stable for the past decade, according to a survey by Urban Science, a consultancy.
    As of July 1, 2021, Urban Science counted 18,157 dealerships, or "rooftops," in the U.S., up 46 stores from six months earlier. In 98% of local markets in the U.S., Urban Science found no net change in the number of auto dealerships.
    In short, ownership has consolidated, but the U.S. auto retail infrastructure has not.
     
    "As far as the public goes, it looks like the same number of dealers are out there," said Urban Science Global Director of Data Mitch Phillips.
    For consumers, the consolidation of auto dealer ownership could be largely invisible in the short term. But longer term, industry executives say larger dealer groups will be better equipped to deploy technology to enable faster online shopping and financing, allow customers to select from a wider array of vehicles at multiple stores and get repairs done more conveniently.
     
    Different bets
    Buyers and sellers are making different bets about the future for brick-and-mortar dealerships.
    Sellers tend to be family-run businesses faced with making substantial investments in new equipment and technology to sell and service electric vehicles. They are concerned that automakers want to squeeze dealer profit margins to recover the enormous investments they have made in electrification, said George Karolis, president of the Presidio Group, a dealership transaction adviser.
    "They face large investments to keep up with the digitization of the business," Karolis said. With profits high and valuations for dealerships strong, smaller owners are deciding now is the right time to exit, he said.
    Buyers — especially public chains such as AutoNation or Sonic Automotive — are using cheap capital and cash generated during the pandemic to get bigger, banking on economies of scale to overcome the challenges that drove sellers to the table.
    With its size, Lithia can borrow money at lower interest cost and get products and services from vendors at 20% to 30% lower cost than smaller dealers, Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said.
     
    Lithia also can as much as double an acquired store’s used-car business by reconditioning and selling vehicles more than 5 years old, and use its own brand of replacement parts to keep customers from going elsewhere for service, he said.
    Whether the franchise model survives depends on how dealers adapt, said Asbury Automotive CEO David Hult. Asbury launched two of the biggest deals in the current M&A boom, acquiring Park Place Dealerships for $735 million and spending $3.2 billion last year for the Larry H. Miller Group, then the eighth-largest U.S. auto retail group.
    Asbury needs larger scale as it invests in online sales technology, develops systems that will allow service customers to track their vehicle through the repair process and considers revamping sales and service facilities, Hult said.
    "If you know the world is going to be electric ... you don’t need stores to be as big as they are. Maybe a small showroom ... and smaller service centers" in more locations, he said. "You’ll have fewer owners, owning more stores."
    Lithia’s DeBoer said he would welcome a move to an "agency model" where dealers are paid set amounts for handling a vehicle sale, haggling over price is eliminated and dealers are not expected to stock large numbers of vehicles.
    "A lot of our SG&A costs are negotiation costs," he said. "We could be a lot more productive."
    Auto retail executives say consumers shopping online still want places to see vehicles and get them repaired.
    "If you have a footprint in a market, you don’t have a plan of closing" stores, said AutoNation Executive Vice President Marc Cannon. "Our plan is to develop them out and maximize them."
     


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